Walkabout wickets: the doco and the design

A documentary following the men’s and women’s Indigenous cricket teams on a tour of England last year, will air this weekend.

The tour commemorated the famous 1868 tour which was the first time a team of Australian cricketers visited England.

All but one of the team’s players were Indigenous and they were Australia’s first sporting team to tour overseas.

Aunty Fiona Clarke appears in the documentary to discuss her artwork which appears on the team’s playing shirts.

“It means a lot to me. More than a lot. It means so much to me because I feel a lot of emotions because it was a moment of time that was dedicated to my ancestors that did go to England in 1868 and they became stars,” Ms Clarke said.

The documentary is called Walkabout Wickets which is named after Aunty Fiona’s artwork.

The large circles on the artwork represent the MCG, the spiritual home of cricket in Australia, and the lines represent wickets.

“And there’s a lot of them because they won so many games,” Ms Clarke laughs.

The commission to complete the artwork arrived in Aunty Fiona’s lap in 2016, when she was selected by a panel.

“It was a good surprise and I’ve got the love for cricket. I’ve played indoor cricket,” she said.

“It’s been quite a good professional working relationship with Cricket Australia.”

“The whole design is talking about the past, present and future. Past is the cricketers that passed on … And the present is the ones that went to England.”

Aunty Fiona Clarke says she has another project coming up with Cricket Australia but the details are under wraps for now.

“You’ll find out more in August,” she said.

The documentary is funded by Cricket Australia and will be aired on Channel 7 this weekend, featuring several players who attended the 2018 tour.

“It’s the story that should be told, not only for Indigenous people but just for the story itself of these guys and what they had to go through,” Wiradjuri man and cricketer Dan Christian says in the documentary.

“The way that we’re going with Indigenous cricket at the moment is really positive. That’s why I’m hoping there’ll be more kids wanting to play cricket,” Muruwari woman Ash Gardner said.

By Keiran Deck

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